Cebu Pacific given ultimatum to remove disabled plane
MANILA, Philippines—The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has given Cebu Pacific Air, the country’s biggest budget airline, until 3 p.m. Tuesday to remove a disabled A-320 plane that is obstructing the runway at the Davao International Airport or the government would carry out the removal operation itself.
At a press conference, CAAP Deputy Director General John Andrews reiterated his earlier statement pointing to human error as a possible cause of the accident, given evidence that the pilot had failed to correct his heading while landing on the airport Sunday night. The plane apparently missed the runway.
“Evidence does not lie. We have now evidence that points to possible human factor. In other words, it may be pilot error,” said Andrews.
He said he was confident that information from the flight data recorder would support his initial theory.
Andrews also questioned why Cebu Pacific failed to order an immediate evacuation—within three minutes as per emergency procedure—despite the heavy impact of the troubled landing, which left considerable damage on the aircraft.
He said the plane may “no longer be salvageable” considering the extent of damage. Andrews said both of the plane’s engines were severely damaged and the nose gear had collapsed.
CAAP officials also considered the possibility of suspending all Cebu Pacific operations but said the impact on the travelling public and the economy would have to be considered.
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